Attachment parenting with two children
How would you practice attachment parenting with a newborn and a toddler?
By Shannon Richards
Four things happen when you first see those two lines on a home pregnancy test:
Article originally in Parent24
1. You gain 5Kgs;
2. You get irrationally angry with the world, and cry for no reason;
3. You start to worry.
As a mom who believes firmly in attachment parenting, I am faced with a whole new set of worries, concerns and logistical problems. Firstly, I am still breastfeeding my 20-month-old and really don't want to stop. However, breastfeeding with boobs that are aching with early pregnancy and crippling morning sickness is no walk in the park. In fact it is one of the most difficult things I have ever done, including those early days of learning to breastfeed. I dread night times, as that is when she drinks the most. My constant refrain is “it's the best thing for her; only 6 more weeks”.
If this sounds self-sacrificing, it's not. I know if I stop now I will be dealing with a good few sleepless nights and even more tantrums, and I'm just not up for it at the moment. What I can do, is be hopeful that the breast tenderness only lasts 12 weeks. If it carries on I will have to wean her, and figure out how to do it gently with the least amount of trauma involved. She is not ready to wean by any means, so this is a last resort. If I am able to carry on I will find myself tandem feeding a toddler and a newborn, eek!
Four in the bed
My second big hurdle is that we very happily co-sleep. My little girl slept in her cot for the first six months of her life and in hind sight I know it was the wrong decision. I was trying to conform to the norm and follow the baby books but it ended up causing stress on myself, my husband and our baby. When we finally decided to give up and move her into our bed, we all slept soundly for the first time in months. No crying, no stress or guilt.
I want to co-sleep with baby number two from early on but safe co-sleeping won't really allow four in the bed, especially since one of the four will be a two and a half year old with octopus legs! A king size bed is definitely on the 'things to buy for baby number two list' but I'm not sure if that is the answer. Introducing a “big girl bed” might be an option, but whether she will sleep in it is up to debate. I don’t want to force her to sleep alone - I have always hated sleeping alone and don’t think it is fair to force a 2-year-old to do it!
Finally, my toddler still doesn’t sleep through the night. I am relatively okay with still being woken up every two hours as I have accepted that it's my choice not to sleep train. I will say it now at the risk of the backlash - I am AGAINST sleep training for my child. I know that she will not respond well to it, and it will cause undue stress on her and all of us. I shudder to think of the emotional impact it would have on her if I had to introduce her to it now. So instead we wake up every two hours or so, 90% of the time. This is fine when I have one child to deal with, but I have no idea how I am going to handle it when I have two!
The fourth thing that happens, after you see those two blue lines appear on the home pregnancy test? You start to panic!
Any tips for attachment parenting moms expecting baby number 2?
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